The 4 Personality Types and How To Sell To Them

There are many different things that can influence a clients’ buying decision, and as a sales professional, you should be able to identify certain traits in a client, to enable you to tailor your presentation or interaction specifically for that client in front of you at that time.

When it comes to clients, one size does not fit all.

Obviously, it’s not usually possible for you to get to know every client on a personal level before you sell to them.

So how do you know how to tailor your interaction to them?

You need to evaluate and group your clients, and obviously every client will be different, with different personalities, but to be general, every client you have, will fall into one of 4 major personality types; Analytic, Amiable, Assertive, and Expressive.

What does each personality type look like? And how should you interact with them?


  1. The Analytic Client

As the name suggests, an analytical client likes to see facts and data. They prefer to use this data to gain a deeper understanding before making any purchasing decisions, they do their due diligence and use their logical thinking rather than emotional. They will often ask a lot of questions, and won’t be afraid of considering the possibilities of something going wrong. Analyzing each possible outcome before making a decision.

How to sell to them

Never rush an Analytic, they are often slow decision makers as they want to do their due diligence first. Rushing can cause the opposite effect to what is desired. Use statistics and facts. The Analytic client wants to be able to crunch the numbers, see predictable results, and analyse the possible outcomes. Do not make any statement that you can’t back up with cold, hard, facts. Bring their attention to logical, rational reasons to buy, avoid emotional reasons as they won’t react to them. Be prepared for questions as they will often ask for clarification during the process and have a number of questions at the end.

  1. The Amiable Client

The Amiable client is more emotional than the Analytical, they put a lot of importance on relationships and trust, and want you to establish strong rapport before they will buy off you. They are very social, and will often bring in others to include them in the buying process. Amiable clients are generally a bit more laid back, and you can expect conversations with them to be a bit more personal and informal.

How to sell to them

Work hard on establishing strong rapport, Amiable clients like to buy off people they trust, and want the relationship to be established before they purchase. Be prepared to step into the role of trusted advisor, as they often haven’t done as much research as an Analytic and will need you there to provide them with information. Amiable clients react well to stories, get them to visualise using your product, or the outcome that working with you will provide for them. Ask a lot of questions that show you are generally interested, it makes them feel appreciated and more comfortable with you.

If you can learn to tailor your interaction with clients depending on their personality type, you can sell to anyone.
  1. The Assertive Client

Often also referred to as The Driver personality type, the Assertive Client is often very commanding, domineering and competitive. They will be very opinionated, and often self-centred. They want the facts as soon as possible and do not react to small talk, they’re often busy, outcome orientated and are quick decision makers, so they want you to get to the point. They like to see facts, and often won’t ask too many questions as they want to be observed as an authority, also because they are often very aware of time.

How to sell to them

As I said, Assertive clients aren’t interested in small talk and you should get to the point as soon as possible. Stress to them any fast results, and ask questions to keep them engaged. Let them feel as though they are in control the whole way through your pitch. Provide them with facts so they can make quick decisions. Relate to their competitive side by showing how you can help them get ahead of their competitors, or how your product is superior to your competitors. Assertive clients also often react well to multiple choice closes, giving them a few options makes it easier for them to make a quick decision.

  1. The Expressive Client

Expressive personality types are also often referred to as Humanists. They’re similar to Amiables, in that personal relationships are incredibly important to them. The Expressive Client is a people person, they like to make people happy, and want to ensure their decisions provide positive outcomes to all involved in the process, and all that will be affected by the decision. The focus with the Expressive is more on generalities than facts, and they like to see testimonials from previous happy clients. Unlike the Amiable and Analytic Clients, the Expressive Client is often a fast decision maker.

How to sell to them

Build rapport early on, present them with the ‘big picture’, show how the purchase will positively affect the people around them. Use testimonials or case studies, stories of how your product or service has positively affected previous clients.  Utilise some facts, but focus more on how you can help them on a more human level, and how it will be a positive outcome for all involved in their decision.

In sales, it is incredibly important to be flexible, you need to be able to connect with, and impress, every client you interact with. If you can study these personality types and learn to determine which type a client falls into early on in the interaction, you can tailor the entire interaction to suit them, and make them comfortable making the decision to buy.

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One thought on “The 4 Personality Types and How To Sell To Them

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